Big things happening this month!

On May 21st, we're celebrating Lagoon Day and the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the River Path Del Mar extension! There's going to be a bird walk, arts and crafts, delicious food, craft beer, and live music. We hope you can join us for a fun-filled, family-friendly day at the Lagoon!

Spring is going strong and there are signs of it throughout the River Park, with wildflowers blooming and animals raising their young. If you're not able to join us for this month's guided hikes, we hope you're able to get out on your own to explore and enjoy nature.

Thank you for your continued support of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park! Don't forget to renew your Conservancy membership and invite your friends, too!



Sundays, May
8, 15, 22, 29
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Sunday, May 8
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintanence
Hosted by SDRP Ranger David Hekel

Sunday, May 8
8:00 am - 11:00 am
DDHPL May Work Party
Hosted by Del Dios Habitat Protection League

Monday, May 9
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project Technical Review Workshop
Co-hosted by California Coastal Commission Staff and Contract Scientists

Tuesday, May 10
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Happy Half-Hour & Conservancy Presentation
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Adventure 16

Saturday, May 14
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
1.7 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRP Ranger JJ Paetow

Saturday, May 14
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Cheesemaking 101: Camembert Class
Meet at Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation Board Member Eric Jones
$45/person, limited to 8 participants
Register at

Saturday, May 14
6:00 pm
Sustainable Urban Orchard Dinner in Poway
Location disclosed upon registration
Hosted by Ken and Lynne Anne Baker, Co-chair of Volcan Mountain Foundation Advisory Board
$60/person, limited to 12 guests

Sunday, May 15
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Canyoneers Hike at Ramona Grasslands
5 miles, easy
Hosted by San Diego Natural History Museum Volunteers

Thursday, May 19
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Del Mar Public Works Department Open House
Meet at Del Mar Public Works:
Hosted by Del Mar Public Works Department

Saturday, May 21
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Jake Gibbs

Saturday, May 21
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Lagoon Day (including San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk)
Co-hosted by SDRP Rangers, SDRVC, City of Del Mar, and Buena Vista Audubon Society Member John Haddock

Saturday, May 21
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Canyoneers Hike at Santa Ysabel East
3 miles, easy
Hosted by San Diego Natural History Museum Volunteers

Saturday, May 21
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Amateur Astronomy and Night Hike
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Bill

Sunday, May 22
9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Crafts Under the Oaks - Nature Impressions
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Bobbi

Saturday, May 28
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Exec Trek: Santa Fe Valley
4 miles, easy/moderate
Hosted by SDRVC Executive Director Trish Boaz

Sunday, May 29
7:00 am - 10:30 am
SDRVC Members Only Fitness Hike
10 miles, moderate/strenuous
Co-hosted by SDRVC and SDRP Hike Leader Cindy Outlaw

Sunday, May 29
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Spring Flower Hike
7 miles, strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Bobbi

Sunday, May 29
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Yoga at the Birdwing
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

All events are free unless otherwise noted.


For hikes, all mileages are approximate.


Please visit our website for more details and full events calendar.  


Join the Conservancy's Meetup group to learn more about upcoming hikes and events in the River Park. 










Your membership helps us to fulfill our mission to protect  the San Dieguito Watershed for generations to come.




For more information, please visit these websites:

Latest News & Updates
Mark Your Calendars!
Save the date! On May 21st, we're celebrating Lagoon Day at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom starting at 9:00 am. Then, the River Path Extension Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony will be held at 12:30 pm at the Old Grand Avenue Bridge!

Save the Date - 2016 River Valley Fest
The Conservancy's 7th Annual River Valley Fest will be held on October 9th at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club.

Tickets will be on sale soon!
SDRVC Receives Donation from Gelson's Market
Thank you to Gelson's Market for celebrating Earth Day by donating to the Conservancy! Gelson's collected fees from selling paper bags in communities where plastic bags are banned at grocery stores. They selected four nonprofits -- including SDRVC -- and donated $5,000 to each.

Learn more here.

Remembering Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson was an active volunteer with the River Park for the past year. He was 
compiling the history of the San Dieguito River Valley for education programs and working with the rangers as a Dust Devil. 

Jim passed away on April 8th, 2016 at the age of 80, of natural causes. He leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Kathalijn Nelson, two daughters, four grandchildren and numerous extended family. He spent a 38-year career with Alcoa as an Engineer and retired as Technical Manager. 

After retiring, Jim and Kathalijn choose to settle in Solana Beach. They became very active in the community, and over the years, Jim served on the City's Budget and Finance Committee and on the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society as President and Treasurer, and as the Curator of the Solana Beach Heritage Museum. With his wife, he was instrumental in developing the Museum's current displays and the Living History Program for third graders. 

Jim researched and authored two books on the history of Solana Beach and volunteered as a docent at Birch Aquarium and the Natural History Museum. Jim was dearly loved and will be greatly missed. 

A celebration of life ceremony for Jim will be held on May 14th, 2016, at 10:00 am at the Solana Beach Heritage Museum. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations be made to the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society. 

The Printer's Circle Gives Back
The Conservancy's printer, Sam Kmety of The Printer's Circle, has a wonderful program called Partner2Provide. Through this program, The Printer's Circle donates 50% of their proceeds from printing/mailing projects to a non-profit. It's an easy way for organizations to give back -- and you can even select what charity benefits from your projects!

If you or your company have any printing needs, consider working with Sam so the Conservancy can receive more funding for our programs.

Learn more about The Printer's Circle and Partner2Provide here.

High Tech Elementary North County Bee Project
Third grade students from High Tech Elementary North County (HTeNC) recently embarked on a project studying bees and their importance in the environment. The project was led by new SDRVC board member and science teacher at HTeNC, Shelley Glenn Lee. 

The goal was to explore diversity and the essential question: why does diversity matter? The students set up bee bowls around Lake Hodges, the school, and in the students' backyards to determine what bee species were present. 

They found five different native species, including one from Lake Hodges, in addition to the non-native European honeybee. From the Lake Hodges, they found four poppy pollinator bees, four small social sweat bees, a second species of small social sweat bee, one mason bee, and one valley carpenter bee. 

The data the students collected is useful to researchers at UCSD and was shared with the San Diego Natural History Museum. The students learned about San Diego's habitat diversity, and how our native pollinators, including over 500 species of native bees, are responsible for pollinating our native plants and maintaining the biodiversity of San Diego.

Chaparral Naturalists at the River Park 
For five Saturdays in April and May, the California Chaparral Institute has teamed up with San Dieguito River Park to host classes for training in Advanced Chaparral Naturalist certification.  

The park office provides classroom space, with views of bright-green spring foliage from the Arroyo Willow and Sycamore that thrive in the creek. Much of the class is held in the field and on trails throughout the park, such as Lake Sutherland and Del Dios Gorge. People of all ages and all walks of life attend these courses to get certified and be docents for institutions such as the San Diego Natural History Museum or lead guided hikes throughout the region.  

Most importantly, the classes teach and provide the Chaparral Naturalist students with techniques and methods used to inspire young adults to love nature and in turn create permanent nature advocates for the next generation.   

According to the California Chaparral Institute, chaparral is California's most characteristic ecosystem and was once the preferred habitat of the official California state animal, the California grizzly bear.  

If you are interested in being part of the 2017 class, contact the institute at

Coast to Crest Trail Bridge
Refurbished by Boy Scouts
On April 16th, Boy Scout Jacob Zhang of Troop 713 earned his Eagle Scout rank by refurbishing the Coast to Crest Trail bridge on the Western edge of the Horsepark. 

We thank him and his troop for their continued support and service to the River Park.

Spring Safety Tip: Stay on the Trails!
This time of the year is a great time to enjoy the trails, but please remember it is so important to stay on the trails

The first reason is safety. Rattlesnakes, which are very important to the environment, are breeding. You might occasionally see them on the trail, but they breed, live, and hunt in the natural areas off trail. It is important to stay on the trail and keep your dog leashed and on the trail to avoid any encounters. 

Rattlesnakes copulating at the San Dieguito Lagoon

A second reason is the nesting birds. Many birds nest on the ground and are doing so within the Park. The eggs are very hard to see and very easy for you or your dog to step on. Please help rangers and wildlife by staying on trails. 

Killdeer chicks at the San Dieguito Lagoon

Coming Up in May
Happy Half-Hour & Presentation at Adventure 16
May 10th
Join Adventure 16, Trish Boaz, Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, and Leana Bulay of the San Dieguito River Park for a presentation about the Conservancy and SDRP.

This event is free. To make a voluntary donation to or become a member of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, click here.

When: Tuesday, May 10th at 6:30 pm (Happy Half-Hour). Presentation begins at 7:00 pm 
Where: A16 Solana Beach Store: 143 S. Cedros Ave.

Ranger-Led Walk at the 
San Dieguito Lagoon
May 14th
This easy, 1.7-mile walk will be led by a Park Ranger along the San Dieguito Lagoon. Topics will include the lagoon restoration project, plant/wildlife identification and updates on current Ranger projects. Come discover the beauty of the Lagoon with us!

When: Saturday, May 14th at 9:00 am 
WhereDust Devil Nature Trail Staging Area (map)

Exec Trek at Santa Fe Valley
May 28th
Join Executive Director Trish Boaz for an easy/moderate 4-mile (round trip) hike at Santa Fe Valley. Note the date has been changed from May 21st to May 28th

When: Saturday, May 28th at 8:30 am 
Where: Santa Fe Valley Staging Area (map)

Members Only Fitness Hike
May 29th
Cindy Outlaw will lead a 10-mile fitness hike starting at the Santa Fe Valley Staging Area, continuing through Del Dios Gorge, around the north shore of Lake Hodges and finishing just east of I-15 at the Sunset Drive Staging Area. 

Cindy is an SDRP hike leader who has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro 10 times and is a Seven Summits Adventurer. 

The pace will be brisk, at 20 minutes per mile, and breaks will be minimal. There will be a car shuttle at the end to return hikers to the start. 

The hike is open to Conservancy members only, and donations to the park are appreciated. Join the Conservancy today!

When: Sunday, May 29th at 7:00 am 
NOTE: The hike will begin at 7:00 sharp, so plan to arrive at the trailhead by 6:45 
Where: Santa Fe Valley Staging Area 

Yoga at the Birdwing 
May 29th
Yoga at the Birdwing is on the last Sunday this month!

Join yoga instructor Susan McCrea for a relaxing, coastal yoga session at the Birdwing! Bring your mat; all levels welcome.

When: Sunday, April 17th at 10:00 am 
Where: Birdwing Open Air Classroom (map)
Directions: From I-5, take Via de la Valle exit and go east. Turn right on San Andres Drive and turn left into driveway to parking area. There is a short, easy hike to the Birdwing from the parking area.

What Happened in April
Burns & Mac Gives Back at Crest Canyon
This year's Earth Month Hike & Restoration event got a welcome boost from international consulting firm Burns & McDonnell. Staff, family, and friends from the Burns & McDonnell offices in San Diego and Orange County joined the Conservancy for a hike through Crest Canyon and learned about all the restoration work we've done over the years to preserve this natural area. 

They wrapped up the morning by putting their gardening skills to use and installed 180 native plants in our newest restoration site. A huge thank you goes out to this hard working crew!

Final Plant Survey Results for Bernardo Mountain
Despite having to be postponed due to weather, the Conservancy's 2nd botanical survey in April was a success. The recent rains ensured a spectacular wildflower display and our Citizen Scientists documented an additional 30 species, bringing the total plant count on Bernardo Mountain to 202 different species. 

An illustrated plant list showcasing the results of our surveys is available online here

Citizen Science Field Day with High Tech Elementary
Our Citizen Science Monitoring Program is suitable for all ages -- and our newest (and youngest) Citizen Scientist recruits are proof! Continuing our partnership with High Tech Elementary North County, the Conservancy and River Park joined this year's 5th graders last month for a fun-filled field day at Lake Hodges, where they learned how to identify animal tracks, use GPS units, and record observations to our iNaturalist biodiversity project. 

Next they'll be working in class to review photos from our wildlife cameras, which will provide important data on species occurrences in the River Park. Be sure to follow the Conservancy on Facebook so you can be kept up-to-date on their findings!